For many years, people have found inspiration, unity, and hope from music and the arts. And there is something magical about hearing familiar tunes. When I hear or play a well-known piece, I have a calm feeling of nostalgia and peacefulness. I am inspired and hopeful, and am drawn closer to those around me.
Saturday was our opening performance at the Kennedy Center of the famous Verdi opera Nabucco. Even though the Washington National Opera (WNO) is one of the major opera companies in the world, this was our first time performing Nabucco in our 56-year history.
Here is the making of WNO’s Nabucco. You can get a glimpse of me starting at 6:05. :)
Nabucco is Giuseppe Verdi’s third opera. It is also his first hit opera. Written in 1842, it is based on the sixth century B.C. sacking of Jerusalem and the enslavement of the Jews by Babylonian King Nabuchodonosor. One of the best musicians in the world, WNO Music Director Philippe Auguin took the podium for our performance.
In the third act, there is a famous chorus called “Va, Pensiero” (known in English as the “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves”) that all music lovers recognize. We play this chorus twice in the middle of the opera as tradition. This piece is considered an anthem for Italian patriots. It was an inspiration for the unification of the Italian people and for their freedom from years of foreign occupation.
Culture continues to inspire and bring people together from around the world and I’m happy to be part of such a great production.
I didn’t find WNO’s full version but here is one of the best versions of Va, Pensiero….